Muscle magnetic resonance imaging in patients with congenital muscular dystrophy and Ullrich phenotype

Neuromuscul Disord. 2003 Sep;13(7-8):554-8. doi: 10.1016/s0960-8966(03)00091-9.


The aim of this study was to evaluate muscle magnetic resonance imaging findings in patients with congenital muscular dystrophy and Ullrich phenotype. Fifteen children with congenital muscular dystrophy and Ullrich phenotype were included in the study. All patients had collagen VI studies in muscle and, when family structure was informative, linkage studies to the collagen 6 loci. Three of the 15 patients had reduced collagen in muscle. One of the three was from an informative family and linked to one of the collagen 6 loci. Another patient was linked to one of the collagen 6 loci but had normal expression of collagen in muscle. The remaining 11 all had normal collagen expression in muscle. Only two of these 11 were from informative families and linkage to collagen 6 loci was excluded in them. All patients had muscle magnetic resonance imaging of their leg muscles using transverse T1 sequences. With the exception of the two patients in whom linkage to the collagen 6 loci was excluded, the other 13 patients showed the same pattern of selective involvement on magnetic resonance imaging of thigh muscles. This consisted of relative sparing of sartorius, gracilis, adductor longus and rectus. This pattern was also found in the case linked COL6A1/A2 locus but with normal collagen. This finding, and the striking clinical and magnetic resonance imaging concordance between patients with normal and reduced collagen VI in muscle suggest that collagen VI could still be the culprit in several cases with normal collagen expression, or alternatively a primary defect in a protein that closely interacts with collagen VI. Mutation analysis of the collagen 6 genes in cases with normal collagen VI expression is needed to resolve this issue.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Child
  • Collagen Type VI / deficiency
  • Collagen Type VI / genetics*
  • Collagen Type VI / metabolism
  • Genetic Markers
  • Humans
  • Leg / pathology
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging
  • Muscle, Skeletal / metabolism
  • Muscle, Skeletal / pathology*
  • Muscular Dystrophies / complications
  • Muscular Dystrophies / congenital
  • Muscular Dystrophies / genetics
  • Muscular Dystrophies / pathology*
  • Phenotype*
  • Thigh / pathology


  • Collagen Type VI
  • Genetic Markers